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What is the Best IDE to Chose in 2024?

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Every developer knows the term IDE – Integrated Development Environment – and already has their favorite one.

However, one might ask: wouldn't it be good to take a step back, compare all the existing ones, and choose a new one? Or at least try others to form a new opinion?

In this article, we will compare the different IDEs available in 2022, to help you choose the one that suits your needs and technologies.

IDE: Definition

First, before listing and comparing the different IDEs, let's go back a bit: what exactly is an IDE?

We said it, IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. Note, an IDE is not a text editor (which itself is not an environment).

While both are used for development, a text editor is just a simple software capable of receiving code (it literally only serves to edit text). The IDE comes with a set of features, such as:

  • Syntax checking;
  • Error detection;
  • Auto-completion;
  • A compiler;
  • A server.

In practice, these terms are used almost interchangeably, implicitly referring to "IDE" each time. This is what we will do in this article.

Criteria for Choosing Your IDE

Now that we are clear about what an IDE is, let's see what criteria you should consider when making your choice – you don't obviously choose your development environment randomly.

First, there is the type of development you do. If you are doing native development on iOS, you will find it difficult to do without Xcode. The same goes for Android and Android Studio.

But it also depends on the language. Using C or JavaScript might push you towards different IDEs, although today most of these softwares work with the majority of languages.

You also need to consider the cost. Indeed, not all IDEs are free. If you are employed, perhaps your company can pay for the license. And if you are a freelancer, buying it might still be worth it in terms of increased comfort and productivity.

There is also a matter of personal ethics, if you want to support – or not – a particular company providing these IDEs.

In short, there are many criteria to consider when choosing your development environment, and not all of them are objective!

IDEs: The Comparison

While it is difficult to elect the best IDEs without knowing the list of constraints specific to each developer, we will try to make an objective comparison of the most used editors. By explaining and listing their advantages and disadvantages, we will try to support you in choosing your ideal IDE!

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Visual Studio Code

logo of the IDE Visual Studio COde

Created by Microsoft, Visual Studio Code has become the reference among free IDEs. What makes it popular, but also its weakness, is that it needs to be configured to be usable and tailored to your needs.

Indeed, it needs to be configured and modules installed to show its full power and truly aid development.

Link to the editor:


  • A vast number of extensions available, making it highly customizable;
  • It has an open-source version;
  • Suitable if you do web development.


  • It needs configuration to be operational (it is more of a text editor than an IDE in the strict sense of the term);
  • Much less suited to non-web development.


Eclipse is somewhat the reference IDE when doing Java (though it is not the only one, of course). It also supports programming with other languages (notably PHP), through the addition of plugins.

Its first version was released in 2001, and it remains one of the most used IDEs today.

Link to the editor:


  • Maintained by the Eclipse Foundation, ensuring the IDE's longevity;
  • Absolutely complete for any Java development;
  • It is open-source.


  • Not the best suited for languages other than Java, despite the plugins.

The JetBrains Suite (IntelliJ, PhpStorm, PyCharm, WebStorm, etc.)

JetBrains IDEs are known, and probably rightly so, to be the best on the market. Developers have almost nothing but positive feedback. The advantage of these IDEs is that they are very complete and ready to use. The downside is that they are paid.

WebStorm, for example, JetBrains' IDE tailored to web development, costs $159.00 for the first year, with a 20% discount in the second year and 40% in subsequent years.

These IDEs have a cost, but it can easily be offset by the comfort they bring.

Link to the editor:


  • Already ready to use, with almost no configuration required;
  • Has a version for each technology (PHP, Python, etc.), thus suited to many different types of projects;
  • Probably the best IDEs on the market.


  • It is paid, and the license needs to be renewed each year.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is, to be precise, a configurable text editor – like VSC – and thus not an IDE, strictly speaking. However, once set up, it becomes powerful while remaining simple to use.

Its first version dates back to 2008, and it enjoyed relative success in the 2010s, before VSC encroached on its territory from 2015. Visual Studio Code, relatively similar to Sublime Text in its operation, gradually took over, leaving only crumbs for Sublime Text today.

The editor is still available and maintained, with new builds published in November 2023.

Link to the editor:


  • Like VSC, it adapts to many different languages and can be configured accordingly;
  • Simple to use.


  • Less advanced than Visual Studio Code, both in terms of plugins and community.


Brackets is a text editor created by Adobe, focused on web development. With its first version released in 2014, it aimed to be a direct competitor to Sublime Text. However, it never really took off, and the release of VSC the following year played a part in that.

Adobe stopped supporting Brackets in September 2021; the IDE is now maintained solely by its community. Although the community is not very large, a version 2.0 of the editor was released at the end of 2021.

Link to the editor:


  • Suitable for web development.


  • No longer supported by its creator group, Adobe (so it's best to avoid it).

We have, of course, only listed the main IDEs, those that are still the most used by most developers. But to complete the list, we could have mentioned:

  • NetBeans, especially for Java;
  • Zend Studio, with the Zend PHP framework;
  • Notepad++;
  • Vim;
  • CodeBlocks;
  • Qt Creator.

And many others! If you want to search for other IDEs, especially depending on the languages or projects you use, feel free to do so!


In conclusion, it is difficult to recommend just one IDE. The choice depends on several criteria, as we have seen, and even if some IDEs are suitable for several types of development, they each have their specificities.

To make your choice, we recommend trying those that suit your needs and choosing the one that suits you best.

You might also want to read: The Best Nextjs Boilerplates to Launch your SaaS in Days in 2024

Written by Alexandre Grisey

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